PHOENIX -- When Spring Training began, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he wanted to get Gerardo Parra a lot of playing time in center field so that he would be a viable option there should Chris Young need a day off.

Recently, Gibson has praised Parra's improvement, and Parra said he feels confident in his abilities at the position.

"I feel confident there because I played center field in the Minor Leagues and in Venezuela during the winter," Parra said. "It is a little different."

Parra won a Gold Glove for his play in left field last year, but lost his starting spot when the D-backs signed free agent Jason Kubel in December.

The plan this year is for Parra to back up Kubel in left and occasionally spell Young in center and Justin Upton in right.

Parra said the main difference in playing center is that the ball comes at you straight, whereas it tails on the corners.

When asked if he had a preference of which position to play, Parra shook his head and then smiled.

"I just like it when I see my name in the lineup," Parra said.

D-backs lose Tatum to waiver claim

PHOENIX -- The D-backs' organizational depth at the catching position took a hit Wednesday when the Yankees claimed Craig Tatum off waivers.

Tatum, 29, had been claimed off waivers from the Astros in January, and with Miguel Montero and Henry Blanco entrenched behind the plate at the big league level, the D-backs hoped to get Tatum through waivers so they could send him to Triple-A Reno.

"He's a good catcher, throws real well," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I had him going down to see [hitting coach Don Baylor] every day for early stuff, and recently he started swinging the bat a lot better. He's got a very quick bat. He's a strong kid. We would have liked to have kept him in the organization. We were unable to do that."

The D-backs have non-roster catchers Ryan Budde, Konrad Schmidt and Ed Easley at the upper reaches of the Minors, and general manager Kevin Towers has said repeatedly this spring that it is an area of the organization he would like to strengthen.